One common source of interpersonal conflict is a lack of cultural understanding and how culture influences the communication choices of those we interact with on a daily basis.
Here is what you need to do:
Write four or five questions you will ask a member of another culture about their culture AND how communication works in their culture. Questions could be about gender and communication, nonverbal communication, words or language, etc.
Think of someone you know (a classmate, friend, co-worker, etc.) who is a member of a culture different from your own.
Ask this person if they will help you with an assignment for your communication class. Tell them you will probably need no more than around 30 or 40 minutes of their time.
Get together with your interviewee and…you guessed it…ask the questions. You should also include what are called “probes” – these are follow-ups to your initial question. Examples include “Why do you feel that way?” or “Can you tell me more?” or “Can you share a specific example?”.
Consider your own answers to these questions. How are your answers different? How are they similar?
In a 3 to 4 page paper describe the interview, what you learned via the interview, AND the steps you could take to ensure that communication between you and this person, or another person from the same culture as your interviewee, is as positive and effective as possible.
Remember – as with any college level paper, your work should have a clear introduction (with a “hook”), a solid, well-structured body, and an effective conclusion. Following the structure of the informative speech wouldn’t be a bad idea!
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